Crop Science

African Smallholders: Food Crops, Markets and Policy - download pdf or read online

By G. Durfeldt, Ernest Aryeetey, Aida Isinika

In line with hugely topical overseas examine in a high-priority quarter, this booklet records the farm-level results of the reorientation of agricultural rules with various topics for the several international locations resembling micro-credit, infrastructure, funds crop creation and nutrients protection. It discusses staple meals construction in sub-Saharan Africa and its reaction to altering geo-political, macro-economic and agricultural coverage, to deepen our realizing of the way agricultural improvement unfolds at farm point. it's a resource for all these studying or concerned with nutrition safety, agricultural improvement and African nutrients making plans.

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Extra info for African Smallholders: Food Crops, Markets and Policy

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What are the Issues that Need to be Resolved? The reinvigorated political will notwithstanding, there are a set of issues that will face policy makers as they try to put promise into practice. These can be divided into three types: (i) external factors; (ii) domestic capacity; and (iii) agricultural sector issues. Africa’s performance with regard to these challenges will, to a large extent, determine how far countries will be able to enhance their food security and promote agricultural development.

Beginning in the 1980s, Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) and the ‘rolling back of the state’ were implemented all over the subcontinent. For agriculture this meant an end (gradually) to subsidies and dismantling of state-led cooperatives and marketing boards. Instead, input supply and provision of extension services, as well as marketing of produce, were to be handled by private traders. This actually made things worse. Markets were largely missing; there were too few traders around and those who were to be found suffered from all kinds of capacity problems.

Cassava is an especially compelling case. It was long considered the crop of the downtrodden, but thanks to research spearheaded by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria it is fast becoming a food crop for the elite in Africa also. Two major diseases of cassava – bacterial blight and leaf mosaic – have been controlled through genetic breeding and the incorporation of resistance genes into high-yielding cassava varieties by IITA. Also, thanks to its Africa-wide programme on the biological control of the cassava mealy bug, the institute has waged a successful war on this devastating pest.

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